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Activation Lock for iOS Devices

On devices running iOS 7 and higher, Apple included a security feature called Activation Lock, which prompts for iCloud credentials after a device is factory reset if Find my iPhone/iPad is enabled at the time of reset. This makes it difficult for someone to use or sell an iOS device if it is lost or stolen. 


The ability to manage the Activation Lock state on iOS devices depends on whether the devices are supervised or unsupervised.  If a device is supervised, administrators can force enable Activation Lock, and clear the Activation Lock state remotely.

Enable Activation Lock 

To enable activation lock on supervised iOS devices:

  1. Go to Manage > Settings and create a "Privacy and Lock" configuration profile 
  2. Check the box for "Allow activation lock"
  3. Scope the configuration profile to the desired tags and save

Note: For DEP-enrolled devices, Activation Lock is enabled by default.  To prevent devices from requiring a bypass code when they are factory reset, create and appropriately scope a "Privacy and Lock" configuration profile with "Allow activation lock" unchecked before the devices are enrolled.


Bypass Activation Lock

Systems Manager has a feature called Activation Lock Bypass to circumvent activation lock. To remotely bypass Activation Lock, the following criteria must be met:

  • The target device must be enrolled in a Systems Manager network
  • The target device is running iOS 7.1 or greater
  • The device must be supervised, using Apple Configurator or Apple's DEP
  • Find My iPhone/iPad must be enabled using an iCloud account or via MDM

Once these prerequisites are met, the Activation Lock Bypass tools will appear under the MDM commands section of the client details page.

Note: The device must be supervised and enrolled in Systems Manager prior to Find my iPad/iPhone being enabled.



The Disable activation lock command automatically releases the iOS device from an activation locked state using the last known bypass code(s). It may be necessary to tap Back on the device before being able to proceed with activation if the device is already factory reset.


The Show bypass code command reveals the unique activation lock bypass code received by Cisco Meraki from Apple. If the device has already been factory reset and reactivated, at the Activate iPhone/iPad screen, administrators can manually enter the bypass code (without dashes) in the password field and leave the Apple ID field blank



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